My experinece with Ubuntu/linux - anyone else have any?

PoloMint

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#1
I thought I'd try out Ubuntu as it seems a popular and well supported distribution of Linux.

I had an initial problem with the boot CD not liking my SATA drive, but adding a line to the boot sequence fixed that.

The auto dual boot (with Vista) worked fine. Initially after installing it said there was no operating systems installed, but after a reboot it found everything.

While the system worked fine, it was not usable. Default graphics card drivers left me with a smudgy image, after many hours of fiddling I finally get hold of the correct drivers (having to convert them from another distribution) and got it at a decent resolution - but then the colours weren't quite right. And there was still no sound - fixing that seems an even bigger challenge.

At this point the system started crashing - seemingly for no reason. Looking this up it seemed like a common problem, perhaps connected to firefox being installed. So I gave up.

Many many hours work left me with a system that won't even run an hour without freezing, has no sound and poor graphics, all of which seem like common problems. Had this been a microsoft product it would be being ridiculed everywhere. I like trying out new things and don't mind spending time getting drivers and things to work, but I just couldn't see that ending up with a system that I could confidently use - so I'm back with Vista again.

Does anyone here actually use linux as their main operating system? Not as something they tried out one weekend or use as a file server, but as their primary system they spend most of their time on? I had thought Ubuntu might be this for me, but given my recent experience it will be a while before I try it again.
 

Topper

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#2
Well PM my experience of Kubuntu and Ubuntu are completely different but that is probably because they are being used as networked server software and clients still use XP via Xwin, very stable none of the problems you mention apart from one old CRT server screen which had an unusual refresh rate and Kubuntu was defaulting to something different. I have 5 kubuntu servers and one Ubuntu which is central server (back office) arranged in a wan via broadband routers across the web.
 

PoloMint

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#3
Yes, from reading the forums I got the impression that it could handle complicated server setups like you seem to have Topper, but when it comes to something 'simple' like a non-native screen resolution in full colour things seem to start to break down.

The crashing/firefox thing really surprised me, and I would have been willing to carry on fixing other things had it not been for that, but, like I said if a Windows system could be crashed that easily there would be outcry.

I think for Ubuntu to make it into the more mainstream usergroups people are going to have to iron out these little problems so potential users can see just what is underneath. A lot of people are becoming aware of Ubuntu who are not big computer enthusiasts and don't have any particular need to get it to work - if they encounter any of the problems I did they will not be impressed.
 

2cvbloke

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#4
I had no problems running Kubunto on my laptop, infact, the screen looked clearer on Kubuntu than it did in XP!!! I never had any crashes or locking up, it recognised all the hardware, even my Intel 2200BG wifi Mini-PCI card, so I was online in less than an hour... :D

I guess newer systems and hardware haven't yet been adopted by some distributions yet (it is after all free software which people write and code in their own time!!!), but once it gets going it's great, I even got a few Windows programs running through WINE (Windows LiveMessenger wouldn't though), so in all honesty, I like it... :D
 

dig deep

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I think it would be better to start with (k)buntu and then install Vista.

Vista do some strange mixing with drivers :)
 

PoloMint

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#6
I have a feeling Ubuntu would work fine on my old desktop as most of the hardware in it is standard and quite old, but that sort of defeats the point. My laptop doesn't have anything particularly unusual in it, just most of the things seems slightly newer that what is currently stable in ubuntu. I might try again in a few months.

Out of interest, why did you stop running it on your laptop 2CV?
 

2cvbloke

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#7
PoloMint said:
Out of interest, why did you stop running it on your laptop 2CV?
Cos I wanted to get some data off the Ghosted images that were originally on the drive, but the DVDs had been damaged and it corrupted the info on the drive, I never got around to re-installing it... :)
 

PoloMint

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#8
Well it now works (touch wood) and I'm using it now.

After many more hours of fiddling around the graphics, touchpad and audio are all working (well the audio out is, audio in isn't) and it hasn't crashed for a while (that might have been a touchpad driver issue).

In most cases the fix was quite simple - a different package or recompiling a driver, the biggest problem was working through the many potential fixes to the problems. Even with very similar hardware fixes that work for some people make things worse for others.

Anyway I'm going to give it a proper go now. Biggest problem at the moment is I can't get my VPN to connect and I don't understand all the options in the profile file I need to edit. :confused
 

Topper

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My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
#9
Well I am glad you made some progress PM, unfortunately I am unable to help you on the VPN side of things as that is all handled by the routers not Linux, or are you meaning to create a VPN from a Linux desktop?
 

PoloMint

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#10
Yes, the internet and wireless works fine, but I need to be able to set up a VPN with my work to get access to some work related sites (so they see it as if I'm at work).

I have installed the cisco VPN client but it won't connect. I'm pretty sure this is a problem with the connection profile I created so I'm trying to decode what each of the lines mean and control.
 

Topper

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IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
#11
Do not forget Linux is not tolerant of upper and lower case differences whereas a some of Windows applications are, one letter in the wrong case will stuff you
 

2cvbloke

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#12
I'm downloading the latest version of Kubuntu, Gutsy Gibbon (7.10), so I can try it out on my new laptop on my 30gb hard drive... :D
 
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